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Can We Reverse Cognitive Impairment?

There’s interesting news out of Temple University that shows restricting methionine consumption can increase lifespans in some animals.

According to researcher Domenico Pratico, “We believe this finding shows that, even if you suffer from the early effects of moderate cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s, switching to a healthier diet that is lower in methionine could be helpful in that memory capacity could be improved.”

Research into Alzheimer’s most often concerns prevention and delay, but interest in research that addresses reversing symptoms has given hope to millions.

This study, conducted on mice, showed that a when a methionine-rich diet was changed to a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, cognitive impairment that had developed during the first part of the study had been completely reversed.

There’s Something About Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid found most commonly in protein-rich foods such as red meats, eggs and beans. Most fruits, vegetables, and legumes contain very little methionine. In previous studies, methionine consumption has been linked to the accumulation of amyloid plaques, which often predispose disease and other brain disorders.

In research on mice, restricting the amino acid methionine in the diet provides many of the health and longevity benefits of calorie restriction. In fact, parts of the longevity community have embraced this strategy for life extension.

But isolating any chemical or compound is problematic, and some research reports potential benefits of methionine, at least in combination with other nutrients. Methionine helps in the biochemical breakdown of fats in the body; this action prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver and in the arteries. In addition, research reveals a dramatically lower risk for lung cancer was found among participants with the highest blood levels of B6 and methionine. However, as the Temple study indicates, it may be that a diet rich in methionine can mean a diet dominated by proteins to the exclusion of beneficial fruits and vegetables.

Momentum in Alzheimer’s Research

We’ve talked here about how blueberries, for example, have been reported to reverse memory loss because they are rich in flavonoids. Foods found to lower risk of Alzhiemer’s including diets rich in omerga-3s and fruits and vegetables, and lesser quantities of red meat, organ meat, butter, and high-fat dairy products.

There are many resources for those seeking information on Alzheimer‘s and Alzheimer’s research. Until more is known, a diet rich in nutrients and high in fruits and vegetables is a one of the best defensive actions you can take.

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